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Culinary y Vino Conquistadors First Edition

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We formed the Cookbook Club “Culinary y Vino Conquistadors” last month and this past Sunday had our initial feast in Tzurumutaro, Michoacán.  The basis of Sunday’s gathering was for each member to prepare a recipe from George and Piret Munger’s Cookbook.

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Rita and Ellis, as hosts of our initial feast, choose the cook book from which the recipes were chosen.  During their time living near San Diego they frequented PIRET’S restaurant numerous times and loved their offerings.

Since  PIRET’S restaurant and cookbook are focused on California and French foods,  wine pairings were based from the same regions.

The Location

Our first meeting was held at Rita and Ellias’ beautiful home which was decorated for the Christmas holidays as you see below.

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The Appetizers and Sides

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Appetizers chosen were Salmon Rillettes (shown above) made with a combination of poached and smoked salmon seasoned with a hint of nutmeg and shallot.

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Also on the table was Paula Wolfert’s Tapenade (shown above) made with plenty of anchovies, garlic and grainy mustard.  This was served with freshly baked Red Onion and Walnut Bread.

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Next on the menu was a luscious Ratatouille (shown above) glistening with eggplant, tomatoes and a myriad of vegetables.

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One of the most visually appealing dishes was a Lentil Salad (shown above) served in individual butter lettuce leaves accompanied by crispy bacon bits served on the side.  The chef of this dish mentioned that this salad was composed with little spice except for a clove studded onion that the lentils were cooked in.  She said she was surprised that there was not even a mention of salt or pepper in the recipe.

Main Courses

Rita, as the hostess of the event (Rita said she does the cooking and Ellis does most of the dishes) was in charge of the main course and outdid herself by choosing to make two dishes from the cook book.

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A real winner is shown above, Roast Lamb with Onion Sauce.  The lamb was moist, napped in a flavorful Onion/White Sauce that can be made ahead therefore making it a great dish for groups.

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Here is Rita in her element plating up her second main course of Poulet Supreme Maurice.  She said the recipe appeared very easy when she read it through the first time, but it took more time then expected due to stuffing and rolling up the chicken.  Regardless, all agreed that the results were outstanding!  What a great cook she it!

The Final Result

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A beautiful table to look at and everything tasted wonderful!  A fun afternoon was had by all……..  and yet to come was dessert!

The Dessert

The afternoon  was topped off by a Lemon Bavarian Cream with a Raspberry Sauce that was devoured by all.  I am usually a lover of all things chocolate and gooey, but this dessert was a perfect mix of sweet and tart. Ellis’ son was visiting,  joined in the afternoon’s indulgences and even helped Ellis serve up some great espresso.  Sorry, but I was enjoying dessert so much that I forgot to take photos of this show stopper!

Upcoming Meetings

For our January meeting we will be focusing on the various cookbooks from Diana Kennedy.  Members can choose a recipe from any of her  thirteen cookbooks that she has written.  That number is according to  Wikipedia, may be more, may be less.

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And for February we will be making a long transition to the California Asian Fusion of Ming Tsai from his cookbook “Simply Ming”.  If members do not have easy access to this cookbook, one can also choose one from his website Ming.com that has hundreds of recipes from his cooking shows over the years.  What fun!

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If you are interested in joining us in one of our future meetings, please leave a comment to this post below with your email address and I will contact you about participating in our future meetings.

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